ROANOKE (WSLS) – Sports often times lend themselves to the world of obscurity and individuality. From throwing horseshoes to auto racing there is something for just about everyone.
One of those sports is Women’s Roller Derby. A sport that often gets classified somewhere between speed skating and professional wrestling, has evolved from that stereotypical 70’s sport to one that is high speed, highly organized and highly strategic.
The Star City Roller Girls call Roanoke home, with matches all over the valley, and Saturday they take their bout to the Roanoke Civic Center.
The group of women explained the rules to WSLS 10 Reporter Jonathan Merryman on Thursday as he laced up and hit the floor with them.
The object is a simple one. Each bout is made up of two teams. Each team can have 5 skaters on the floor at once. 4 of the 5 make up the pack, and the pack tries to prevent the 5th skater, called a jammer, from passing the pack and scoring (there is a potential to score 5 points per pass, a point for each opposing player in the pack, and the opposing teams jammer ).
But there’s more!
The first jammer to make their way through the pack gets lead jammer status; this gives them control to call off a “jam” essentially taking away the opposing teams ability to score points.
There are also rules for the skater’s personal safety. You can’t bite, trip, kick, elbow or make contact with the face.
If you like sports of any kind, roller derby probably has something for you. For more information about the team and their match Saturday, visit their website, starcityrollergirls.com.